Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Rising fuel costs, coupled with currency fluctuations, have impactedt flydubai’s financial performance, with the UAE-based carrier reporting a loss of Dh159.8 million ($43.5 million) for 2018.

The state-owned budget carrier said on Wednesday its annual revenue did increase by 12.4 per cent to Dh6.2 billion during the period.

Francois Oberholzer, chief financial officer of flydubai, confirmed that the airline’s performance was impacted “largely” by higher fuel costs, as well as rising interest rates and unfavourable currency exchange movements.

“2018 was a challenging year, however, we have continued to invest in our capacity and increased revenue,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer of flydubai.

The cost of fuel represented about a third (29.8 per cent) of the company’s total annual operating costs, an increase of 25 per cent for the same period in the previous year.

“Rising fuel costs have impacted performance and this is reflected by the proportionately higher increase in total operating costs compared to capacity increase,” the airline said.

The airline that operates flights from Al Maktoum International and Dubai International airports carried 11 million passengers last year, showing a “moderate year-on-year increase.”